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Les Trois Mousquetaires | The Three Musketeers (The D'Artagnan Romances, #1)
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Archive 2016 Group Reads > 2016 July→ August The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

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message 1: by Lesle, Appalachain Bibliophile (new) - added it

Lesle | 6072 comments Mod
The Three Musketeers tell the story of the early adventures of the young Gascon gentleman d'Artagnan and his three friends from the regiment of the King's Musketeers: Athos, Porthos, and Aramis.


message 2: by Christina (new) - added it

Christina | 1 comments Is there a particular translation that the group is reading, or do we just pick up any copy and read? I am new to the group. I just finished The Count Of Monte Cristo and loved it!


message 3: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new)

Rosemarie | 8723 comments Mod
You can use whatever translation you already have, or any translation which you enjoy reading. We are an informal group so feel free to post comments at any time and just mention the chapter number you are talking about.


message 4: by Lesle, Appalachain Bibliophile (new) - added it

Lesle | 6072 comments Mod
Christina, we would not want to put that burden on you, for us all to find the same Edition and language of preference would in our mind be too much to ask.

Each individual Editions all have the same main story in common.

Just start sharing, like Rosemarie said, whenever you are ready.
Happy Reading!


Amélia (cruelleironie) | 21 comments I'd like to be discussion leader here if possible ? I read the book last month and as a french person I feel like I got a few insights.


message 6: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new)

Rosemarie | 8723 comments Mod
Amelia, thank you. I am sure Lesle will be glad you volunteered, since the book was written in French.


Robin P If you haven't read it before, don't be put off by the very beginning which may seem a little slow (or the preface where Dumas tries to prove that this is really based on history, novelists used to do that all the time.) Once you get to the musketeers, the story picks up quickly.


message 8: by Lesle, Appalachain Bibliophile (new) - added it

Lesle | 6072 comments Mod
That is wonderful Amelia!

Please welcome our Discussion Leader for The Three Musketeers!


Brian E Reynolds | 3951 comments I may read it but not ready to lead, so thanks Amelia. I am just starting Rebecca and may try both.
Thanks for the encouraging warning, Robin - it will help me muddle through the beginning.


Amélia (cruelleironie) | 21 comments It's fine Brian ! :) Take your time, and feel free to ramble here if you wish.
The very beginning is indeed introductory, but it goes by fast enough, Dumas has a very fast paced writing, not too long descriptions and such. Also, don't be discouraged by the size of the book, it goes by swiftly ! :)

Small fact about the book and its genre :

It's the perfect exemple of a book genre we call "de cape et d'épée" in french (of cape and sword). It was a very popular genre in the 19th century, and is recognised by its action, and historical entanglements. The novels were originally published in the newspapers, which may explain the length of the chapters.
The french movement of it is based off the spanish "comedia de capa y espada" movement in the 17th century. It was full of plot twist and familiar drama, and the characters wore capes and swords marking their rank.
In the 19th century's movement, the actual capes and swords weren't necessary and the name was kept because of the structure of the novels.

I hope there aren't too many vague facts in there...
Anyway, enjoy reading the book, all of those wanting to !


Robin P Of course the historical part may not be completely accurate. But I think historical fiction increases our interest in history. I would never confuse Louis XIII and Louis XIV - because of what I remember from reading the Musketeer saga.


message 12: by Lesle, Appalachain Bibliophile (new) - added it

Lesle | 6072 comments Mod
Very nice Amelia!
I had no idea about the Cape and Sword! Totally makes sense.


Brian E Reynolds | 3951 comments Amelia, i've read all the CAPTAIN ALATRISTE novels by ARTURO PEREZ-REVERTE and wonder if you know if they are his attempts to produce modern comedia de capa y espada.


Latoya  | 55 comments Yes audiobook is available and Simon Vance performs.


Latoya  | 55 comments So far I like it. I had a few laugh out loud moments in the street yesterday LOL. I'm "reading" the audiobook so my chapts won't be the same as a book. But the chapts are short, feels like I'm a watching a movie or tv show with quick dialogue.


Amélia (cruelleironie) | 21 comments Brian wrote: "Amelia, i've read all the CAPTAIN ALATRISTE novels by ARTURO PEREZ-REVERTE and wonder if you know if they are his attempts to produce modern comedia de capa y espada."

They are, but they also try to depict a realistic XVIIth century Spain. :)


Brian E Reynolds | 3951 comments Rosemarie wrote: "You can use whatever translation you already have, or any translation which you enjoy reading. We are an informal group so feel free to post comments at any time and just mention the chapter number..."
I still would be curious if there are any translations to avoid or ones that are good, if anyone has an opinion. I'll be ready to start in a few days.


message 18: by Nahyan (new) - added it

Nahyan Another similar series to "The Three Musketeers" set in both France and England as well from a different time is "The Scarlet Pimpernel". I just love the adventure, romance and comedy that fuel these series.


Brian E Reynolds | 3951 comments Ready to start on my first Dumas. However, I did read the Pulitzer Prize winning bio of his father, called THE BLACK COUNT which I understand is in development as a movie.


Marie | 27 comments I love the historical, action, real characters but .... I hate humor in this book. I found superficial . I do not like the character of D'Artagnan . He annoys me. So I did not actually finish the book . I will continue on slowly


Brian E Reynolds | 3951 comments Marie, I'm only 70 pages in and, while I agree that D'Artagnan is fairly annoying, I accept it as the author wanting to emphasize his relative youth. I expect W.C. Fields to show up saying "Go away kid, you bother me."


message 22: by Nahyan (last edited Jul 29, 2016 01:59PM) (new) - added it

Nahyan Yes this is a very immature, different D'artagnan from the responsible protector of the king in the film "The Man in the Iron Mask"


Robin P All the characters are a bit stereotyped, Dumas' interest is in action and intrigue. Since I was young when I first read it, that didn't bother me.


Amélia (cruelleironie) | 21 comments Dumas here works with the "Gascons are hot blooded and ridiculous in the city" pattern, it's better to see it as a caricature and overlook it a bit than to take it too much at heart for the sake of book. :)


message 25: by Latoya (last edited Jul 31, 2016 07:22AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Latoya  | 55 comments Amélia wrote: "Dumas here works with the "Gascons are hot blooded and ridiculous in the city" pattern, it's better to see it as a caricature and overlook it a bit than to take it too much at heart for the sake of..."

I agree I see this as a comedy of errors. LOL. Like the movie versions.


Candace I did not enjoy The Count of Monte Cristo so of course I figured Dumas just isn't my guy. Feeling obligated to at least give Three Musketeers a try, I ordered it through the library and started it right away (so that I could get to page 30 and declare it wasn't for me). Contrary to all expectations I really enjoyed this book! I went into it knowing that it's basis on historical fact was insignificant and that the plot was mostly one adventure/sword fight/carriage ride/chase through the alley after another. Normally I'm the first one to find the main character annoying, but D'Artagnan didn't bother me - likely because Dumas discloses his age and "Gascon" character immediately. To the French members: what did you think about the descriptions of characteristics by province? I'm sure it was an exaggeration or stereotype, much like Americans' descriptions of southerners.

Those things that I did find annoying throughout the book were also what made me chuckle: the musketeers' propensity to lose their money as quickly as they came into it, easily-minds, and D'Artagnan's ease that he fell in love with Constance until Milady burst onto the scene! I do wonder if some things were lost in translation to the English version, but I did still find several parts witty.

The movie versions played in the U.S. don't hold a candle to the book but I am eager to check out the BBC TV series. If anyone has seen it, do tell your thoughts.


message 27: by Mimi (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mimi (heymimi) | 72 comments The BBC series is definately worth a watch. Great casting (Peter Capaldi as Richelieu is brilliant), and really entertaining (I do advice to watch the seasons in the right order, don't just jump in).

It's not very close to the book (it's been several years since I've read it, though) , but the portrayal of the characters is the most genuine from all the movie & tv addaptations (and I've seen pretty much allof them...).


message 28: by Latoya (last edited Aug 03, 2016 07:40AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Latoya  | 55 comments Candace wrote: "I did not enjoy The Count of Monte Cristo so of course I figured Dumas just isn't my guy. Feeling obligated to at least give Three Musketeers a try, I ordered it through the library and started it ..."

FEIND! LOL D'Artagnan falling love is hilarious. Milady and now this English lady sigh. Even Pathos shakes his head at him.

I looked at the audiobook and the library book info but they don't mention who translated it.


message 29: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new)

Rosemarie | 8723 comments Mod
I wasn't planning on reading this book, but it sounds like fun. I will read it when I finish a few(!!?!!) books on my to-read pile, maybe around Christmas. I read French, but have not read anything by Dumas before.


message 30: by Latoya (last edited Aug 06, 2016 03:31PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Latoya  | 55 comments How can they loose their money so damn fast? Gambling, wine then you have no money to rent a hotel room or pay your servants! Poor Musketeers. LOL


Latoya  | 55 comments Rosemarie wrote: "I wasn't planning on reading this book, but it sounds like fun. I will read it when I finish a few(!!?!!) books on my to-read pile, maybe around Christmas. I read French, but have not read anything..."

I actually listen to it when I head outside. Its my story on the go! Hi Rosemarie! Hi Canada!


message 32: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new)

Rosemarie | 8723 comments Mod
Hello V. Enjoy your day.


Robin P Candace wrote: "I did not enjoy The Count of Monte Cristo so of course I figured Dumas just isn't my guy. Feeling obligated to at least give Three Musketeers a try, I ordered it through the library and started it ..."

Because I loved the musketeer series so much, I read Monte Cristo and was disappointed that there was no humor and the focus on vengeance makes it very dark. In Three Musketeers, I love the camaraderie of the guys and their sense of honor. (though their attitudes towards women are a bit concerning - having read the children's version, I was surprised to later discover additional chapters about D'Artagnan's love life!) The scheming between the king and cardinal has its amusing side as well.


Amélia (cruelleironie) | 21 comments Candace wrote: "I did not enjoy The Count of Monte Cristo so of course I figured Dumas just isn't my guy. Feeling obligated to at least give Three Musketeers a try, I ordered it through the library and started it ..."

I can confirm the description is totally exaggerated, but it doesn't really shock me as a french person, mostly because all of the book /is/ exaggerated. The country person that goes into the city bit is less exaggerated though, people that live in the cities tend to think of us, people that live in the country side are totally different species of human...


message 35: by Mimi (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mimi (heymimi) | 72 comments Drat, I wasn't planning on reading The Three Musketeers this month, (since I'm still only halfway through Emma), but this discussion thread succered me into it yesterday...

I'm only a few chapters in, but thouroughly enjoying it so far. I'd forgotten how much I loved this book as a kid!


message 36: by Phil (new) - rated it 5 stars

Phil J | 83 comments Robin wrote: "I was surprised to later discover additional chapters about D'Artagnan's love life!"

Me, too. I thought D'Artagnan was shockingly amoral. This never would have gotten by in the US in the 1800s. D'Artagnan seduces women for surprisingly cynical reasons at later points in the novel.


message 37: by Phil (new) - rated it 5 stars

Phil J | 83 comments Candace wrote: "The movie versions played in the U.S. don't hold a candle to the book but I am eager to check out the BBC TV series. If anyone has seen it, do tell your thoughts."

I'm a fan of the '70s movies with Charlton Heston, Oliver Reed, and Christopher Lee.


message 38: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new)

Rosemarie | 8723 comments Mod
I like the 70's movie version of the book too. Michael York plays D'Artagnan. Faye Dunaway is Milady de Winter, and the sets and costumes are wonderful.


Brian E Reynolds | 3951 comments The Three Musketeers are getting more silly, in the part where D'Artagnan collects them after returning from England. Its more farcical than I thought, though I should have expected it from the movies. There is some awkward phrasing in my edition which may be a result of the translation.


message 40: by Brian E (last edited Aug 15, 2016 04:48PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Brian E Reynolds | 3951 comments Some thoughts on finishing.
1) I found the second half on the novel a bit tiring; the story seemed to go on and on; a prime example being Milady's tale of woe to Felton.
2) In contrast, D'Artagnan seemed to morph rather quickly from a young brave and foolhardy Gascon to a wise brave contriver. On the good side, it did make him less irritating.
3) The French 'heroes' seem to consider marriage as no impediment, maybe an inducement, to consummating an infatuation mistaken as love. I see this in contrast to the English/American/Russian attitudes of 19th century novels (even about 17th century events) where marital bonds are not treated so cavalierly. Extramarital affairs, though existing, often had tragic results.
4) Finally, I should listen to my wife who says, "you get what you pay for" and paid for a Pevear translation instead of an Amazon Kindle freebie with a nameless translator.


Robin P I agree that the slowest part of the book is about Milady's captivity. She is a devil with no redeeming features. The maie antagonists are often seen to have some humanizing qualities, but not her. All the women are stereotypes, the innocent Constance, the noble queen, the evil Milady. Again, I think because I read this so young, that didn't bother me. The story is all about the guys and the women are mostly props.


Latoya  | 55 comments Robin wrote: "I agree that the slowest part of the book is about Milady's captivity. She is a devil with no redeeming features. The maie antagonists are often seen to have some humanizing qualities, but not her...."

I'm surprised that they all agreed to get rid of her. But I found the story funny but a bit dragging towards the end.


message 43: by Latoya (last edited Aug 17, 2016 02:38PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Latoya  | 55 comments There is a Three Musketeers show on BBC? I'm in the US so I cant watch, its clips of it on YouTube. It looks really good. :(


Robin P V wrote: "There is a Three Musketeers show on BBC? I'm in the US so I cant watch, its clips of it on YouTube. It looks really good. :("

I've recorded about 18 episodes but only got around to watching the first one. It's not done too seriously - for instance, when they get caught up in a brawl, someone says "Remember the musketeers' motto - Every man for himself!"


message 45: by Latoya (last edited Aug 17, 2016 10:44PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Latoya  | 55 comments Robin wrote: "V wrote: "There is a Three Musketeers show on BBC? I'm in the US so I cant watch, its clips of it on YouTube. It looks really good. :("

I've recorded about 18 episodes but only got around to watch..."


But they look attractive LOL. :) :)


message 46: by Brian E (last edited Aug 20, 2016 10:19AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Brian E Reynolds | 3951 comments Perhaps I was overly harsh in my judgment of the Musketeers' cavalier attitude toward the marital bond. I should keep in mind the message from this recently-read passage from Kenneth Clark's "Civilization:"

"A love match is almost entirely an invention of the late eighteenth century. Medieval marriages were entirely a matter of property, and, as everyone knows, marriage without love means love without marriage."


message 47: by Mimi (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mimi (heymimi) | 72 comments So, I *finally* finished this last week (way behind everyone else, as pe usual).

my full review/rant: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

I agree with a lot of the things people have said here; the second half of the story drags (although I liked the chapters on Milady's imprisonment, they added a bit more depth to her character).

The 'cavalier approach' to marriage might also be because of the general french attitude towards marriage, relations and love.

And the BBC series is definately worth watching, even though it's nothing like the book; (or maybe it's worth watching because of this ;) )


Karen Blake | 16 comments o.k. I finished The Three Musketeers ( aka the Inseparables) a couple of days ago. I have a few thoughts about the work:
1. Even after 172 years since it was first published it is still really funny;
2. Those D'Artagnan is a main character, but he is not the only character: Athos (aka: Count de la Fere) and Milady ( aka: Lady de Winter & Anne de Breuil) are very interesting character studies in a life re-invented. D'Artagnan starts out a simply as a over zealous young man from the county side.
Later we discover that Athos is a nobleman running from disgrace. While Lady de Winter is running from the hangman's noose. Each character chooses to transform themselves in plain sight.
Eventually, everyone's past or short comings are revealed and each must be confronted.
I will try to read the sequel "Twenty years later" at some point.


Latoya  | 55 comments Karen wrote: "o.k. I finished The Three Musketeers ( aka the Inseparables) a couple of days ago. I have a few thoughts about the work:
1. Even after 172 years since it was first published it is still really funn..."


Yes I found myself laughing out loud. Wow 172 yrs!


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